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10 Reasons You Should Meditate Every Day

10 Reasons You Should Meditate Every Day

I have been meditating seriously for a little over a year now, and I can genuinely say that it has changed my life for the better. No, I have not reached enlightenment or experienced some coveted cathartic state, but I have learned how to be more mindful through meditation.

I have learned how to better understand my internal self, and observe how it coincides with my external self. I have learned (in most situations) how to be more passive and thoughtful as opposed to more aggressive and irrational.

Quite frankly, meditation has taught me a lot, and I believe it can teach others a lot as well. It is more than sitting in an awkward position and chanting.

Meditation is about becoming one with your mind, and learning something about yourself that you may not have known before you undertook the practice of meditation. Your practice can be as long or as short as you would like, but try to take the time to meditate every day.

You will be thrilled with the results, and we’ve put together 10 reasons meditation should be on your list of new hobbies to undertake.

1. You will become more mindful and aware

Being mindful means that you are more aware of your thoughts and your actions in general. Unless you are in a heightened state of awareness, you can’t observe your thoughts rationally.

Perhaps your thoughts take you on a wild ride throughout your day, dragging you along. It is time to get off that ride and undoubtedly determine which thoughts are truthful and which thoughts are just bollocks.

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Meditation offers you the time to reflect on your thoughts and focus mainly on your breathing or some other aspect of your being. It gives you the awareness to refocus your mind on the present moment, as opposed to the past of the future.

This kind of awareness is a useful skill as you progress through your everyday life.

2. It can decrease unnecessary stress

You experience stress just like everyone else. Some stress is unavoidable, and therefore, not so toxic. Too much stress can be unhealthy and damaging if you are unable to combat it.

Meditation is a quiet time you should dedicate to yourself every day. Use deep inhales and exhales to refocus your attention on being in the moment.

The stress isn’t going to go away automatically but you will observe a transformation in the amount of stress you accumulate. Simply closing your eyes and steadily breathing has a tremendous effect, especially when you acknowledge stressful situations arising.

3. You will gain more control over your emotions

You don’t really want to abdicate all your power to emotions, do you? I think it is safe to say that, like most people, you desire more control over your emotions.

When you are happy, you want to express those emotions freely. At the same time, you may want to express emotions of anger, sadness, and grief, but under your own control. You have the right to express any emotion you want as long as you are in control of the feeling or emotion.

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Too often people lose control over their emotions and they simply accept it. Don’t allow the various archetypes of your mind to seize power of your emotions. Learn how to react skillfully in stressful situations by taking the time to simply observe what the mind is doing.

Meditation gives you the opportunity to do this. The more you meditate, the more you will notice the thoughts and actions that trigger the emotions you might not find desirable.

Unless you make the effort to observe your thoughts and attempt to understand what the mind is doing, you are never going to learn about your inner self. Simply believing every thought that pops in your head and living under your mind’s umbrella is not constructive.

4. You will likely make better life decisions

As you gain more awareness of your thoughts, actions, and emotions, you will notice that you make better decisions. Instead of merely reacting to adverse situations, you will obtain a more useful comprehension of what’s going on in your mind.

This comprehension arms you with the skills to think before you act and therefore make purposeful decisions.

5. It can help you slow down the pace you live your life

Unless you enjoy living at an extremely fast pace, you are going to want to slow down and enjoy living. Meditation arms you with the ability to take life gradually.

Life is not a sprint; it is a marathon. Don’t rush through it and miss out on things you are going to regret later. Slow down your mind first, and then everything else will follow suit.

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6. You can learn a useful new skill

If nothing else, you will learn something new through meditation. Meditation is a skill, and like any skill, it takes much practice and concentration. It is always beneficial to introduce more useful skills into your life.

The first time you learned how to read and write was advantageous for your academic development. Learning how to meditate is useful for the development of your mind.

It is not a competition. There is no right or wrong way to do it. You simply can’t fail at meditating. If you are on the fence about trying it, realize that you have absolutely nothing to lose.

It is not a religious technique that only Buddhists or Hindus practice, but rather it is a life technique than can only help you prosper in life.

7. You can experience more well-being

Who doesn’t want to be happier and feel more contentment with life? Meditating consistently is a great way to open up your eyes to your life, and really experience all that life has to offer.

It will help you appreciate life more and feel more connected with the word you live in.

8. It is free

This might be the alluring reason of all. It won’t cost you a cent, and you can do it from the comfort of your home too, so why not give it a try?

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9. You can do it anywhere

Find a place that is comfortable for you to meditate. Some people use a quiet space at home or in the office. Churches are a great place to meditate because they are typically quiet and empty.

You can meditate outside in nature as well. Look for a place that is inviting and calm and make that your spot.

10. It works

I wouldn’t be imploring you to meditate if I didn’t believe that it works. There is a ton of science behind the benefits of meditation. It is proven that long-term meditation practitioners are more adept to dealing with the ebbs and flows of life.

The time between thoughts gradually increases as you meditate which invites the opportunity for you to consider your thoughts more carefully and, perhaps, rationally. The physical benefits of meditation include decreased blood pressure and lower levels of anxiety, as well as an overall healthier immune system.

Besides the mental benefits, meditation has the capability to broaden your consciousness, which in turn will grant you the ability to understand your feelings and thoughts more. And the more conscious you become through meditation, the more control you are going to have over your emotions, and the more likely you are to choose to live happily.

Featured photo credit: Fbcdn via fbcdn-sphotos-h-a.akamaihd.net

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Last Updated on August 15, 2018

7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

Video Summary

Why is it important to train up our core strength?

There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

One Exercise, multiple benefits

There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

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When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

What will happen when you start doing planks every day

    1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

    Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

    • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
    • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
    • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
    • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

    2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

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      Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

      Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

      3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

        Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

        4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

          Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

          A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

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          A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

          On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

          5. You’ll improve overall balance

            Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

            6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

              Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

              7. You’ll witness mental benefits

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                Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                How to hold a plank position

                1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                  How to improve your plank time gradually

                  1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                  2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                  3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                  Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                  Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                  You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                  • Prolapse
                  • After prolapse surgery
                  • Pelvic pain conditions
                  • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                  • Previous childbirth
                  • Overweight

                  Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

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